As part of his 2017 Christmas celebrations, Everton striker Wayne Rooney has made a £750,000 donation from funds accruing to the Wayne Rooney Foundation.
The former Manchester United star visited two charity homes he supports, and had an opportunity to present cheques raised by his charity foundation.
Media reports confirm the NSPCC [National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children], Claire House, a children’s hospital on the Wirral and Alder Hay hospital each received £250,000 from the Wayne Rooney foundation.
Rooney’s foundation has raised an estimated £2.2 million in its accounts, and this includes the money realized from his Old Trafford testimonial match between Everton and Manchester United.
Image shows Wayne Rooney with the nurses of Ward 4A, Alder Hey Children’s Charity
The 32-year-old footballer’s tour of charity homes followed his club’s win against Swansea City on Monday evening.
“It’s always a privilege to meet the children and families who are being really brave and positive during their illnesses,” said Wayne to a group of reporters.
“It’s a particularly difficult time of year but I hope we were able to bring some Christmas cheer, as all the charity staff do throughout December.
“I’d like to single out and pay tribute to all the staff members at the three charities I’ve visited this week who do such brilliant work, week in and week out, not just at Christmas,” he added.
“I think it’s important for me to be able to contribute through the Wayne Rooney Foundation and continue to help children who need it most.
“Since my testimonial, my foundation and our charity partners have been working together to ensure that the funds we raise will be put to good use and have a lasting effect. Those projects are now under way and it’s a pleasure to be handing over the cheques today.”
It must be remembered that earlier in the year, Rooney made a £100,000 donation to the families of the Manchester Arena bomb victims.
“As a father, I am horrified that a night out for so many young people could end so tragically,” Rooney said in at that time in May. “My heart goes out all those affected. Please give whatever you can.”
Everton website quotes John Armstrong, director of philanthropy at Alder Hey Children’s Charity, as saying in a statement, “We are incredibly grateful to Wayne and his foundation for this generous donation. The money raised will go towards enhancing our ward based treatment rooms, providing much needed distraction and creating a more fun and friendly environment. This will make a real difference to thousands of patients and families who visit Alder Hey every year.”
Alex Modder, children’s services manager at the NSPCC Hargreaves Centre in Liverpool, said: “We are incredibly grateful for Wayne’s very generous donation. The funds donated today will play a vital role in making sure we’re able to reach even more vulnerable children when they need us the most – whether it’s through Childline, our helpline, or one of our therapeutic services such as ‘Protect & Respect’ here in Liverpool.
“Wayne is our inaugural ‘ambassador for childhood’ and to date has helped us reach an incredible 1.6 million children through our schools’ service, which is teaching a generation of young people to keep themselves safe from abuse. In Merseyside in the last academic year we reached 15,056 children and visited 60 primary schools with our Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies.”